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Psychosomatic pain

Psychosomatic  pain, also known as  psychogenic pain, is a pain disorder associated with  psychological factors. Some types of mental or emotional problems can cause, increase or prolong pain. A person with a psychogenic pain disorder will complain of pain that does not match his or her symptoms.

Types of psychogenic pain

Headaches, muscle pains,  back pain and stomach pains are some of the most common types of psychosomatic pain.

How is psychogenic pain diagnosed?

The diagnosis of psychosomatic pain is made when other causes of pain are ruled out. A person with a pain disorder will complain of pain that does not match his or her symptoms. Medical doctors and mental health specialists working together are often most helpful to those with this disorder

How is psychogenic pain treated?

Treatment for psychogenic pain may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Non-narcotic painkillers
  • Other techniques, such as relaxation training, distraction techniques, acupuncturehypnosis, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and physiotherapy may also help to alleviate symptoms.

Ask your GP for more information if you suspect that someone you care about may have psychosomatic pain.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 20, 2012

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